How to Write a Follow Up Email To Get the Best Results

how to write a follow up email

Email is one of the most powerful and result oriented way of how we professionals communicate. Email marketing is stated to have a return of $44 for every dollar spent on it.

But it has its share of challenges too. A study by Radicati Group projected that in 2017, 269 billion emails would be sent and received daily! It shows how cluttered the email inbox environment is. Such vast volumes of emails make its lifespan very short.

So how do you get work done using emails?

The simple answer would be “Follow Up emails”.

And these follow up emails need to be perfect if you want your recipients to take action. In this blog, we are going to teach you all about follow up emails, how to write a follow up email and when to send a follow up email.

Apart from sharing tips on writing a follow up email we have also shared a few good follow up email templates you can use and explained how you can automate your follow ups effectively using SalesHandy.

There are many sections to this article. So, feel free to jump to any section that you think will help you the most.

Here’s an outline and navigation to help you move forward:

What is Following up?

Following up or follow up email is a subtle way of asking someone if they have read your previous email or not.

Follow up is mostly done after an interview, sales proposal or to get feedback, to schedule a meeting or in any situation where you want the recipient to take action after you send them an email.

Following up or follow up emails are hard to master. You can’t just send an email containing:

  • Just checking in
  • Just following up
  • Just wanted to know

And categorize them under follow up emails. Follow up emails should be effective and evoke an action.

Now that you know what is following up or follow up email, let’s talk about the effectiveness of following up and why should you follow up to get the best results?

Why should you follow up?

You know, I know, and everybody in this world knows that it’s impossible to make everything happen at the first go.

Same is with the emails.

Everybody gets tons of emails, and it’s hard to get your email read, but it’s not impossible. The key is to follow up and make sure your emails don’t get lost in the clutter.

We studied over 2.16 million emails sent via SalesHandy to obtain an answer to “why should we follow up?” and derived the following results:

why should you follow up
  • After sending in the first stage of follow up emails, the email open rate increases by 25.06% and reply rate by 24.82%.
  • And if you are the person who never gives up and you end up sending 4-5 consecutive follow-up emails then this will reward you with 26.19% increase in your open rate and 11.06% increase in reply rate.

And there are many useful and actionable insights where the above-mentioned information came.

To get the full thesis of the study based on 2.16 Million emails, stay tuned with SalesHandy!

I know, I know, enough of the salesy part. Let’s move ahead.

The above insights show how useful and effective follow-up emails are.

So, put everything you have and make them the best emails you have ever sent.

Proceed to the next section to master the art of following up and learn how to write a follow up email in just 2 mins!

How to Write a Follow Up Email

Writing follow up emails needs a lot of precision, and there are elements that need to be in them to make them impressive and actionable.

After a lot of studying and sweating and sending tons of emails, we figured out essential parts of the follow up emails and what makes them so effective:

1. The Goal

Now, this is the most crucial part of a follow-up email.

If you are clear about your objective and what you want with the recipient, then it’s like “Well Begun is Half Done.”

So, decide what you want from your recipient, and you are good to go.

There are four primary objectives behind follow up emails which are:

  • To set up a meeting: A meeting of anything where you might want to pitch them or seek their advice or ask them for a favor or it could be anything.
  • To Thank the recipient: These kinds of follow up emails are usually sent after a successful meet and greet or an interview or to revive your connection with someone you haven’t spoken in a while.
  • To obtain information: Follow up emails are also sent to clear out some ambiguity or seek out some fresh information about something in particular.
  • Asking for a favor: Follow up emails where you are asking them for a favor. It could be a mention somewhere, or nowadays people use this method to obtain backlinks as well.

2. The Context

Adding a personal note, mutual connection, past meeting or even a common interest can increase the effectiveness of your follow up emails and it’s such a tiny thing which can easily be forgotten.

So, adding such context at the beginning of your follow up emails can increase your reply and open rate as well.

Here are some of the follow-up email openers that gets the work done:

  • Last time we spoke…
  • (mutual connection) recommended I get in touch
  • I was inspired by your speech (name of the event)
  • We met last week at the (name of the event)

These openers can be magical. Believe me; they will get your recipients hooked in a sec.

3. The Bluntness

Be blunt in your follow up emails and ask them whatever you want to and be clear about your intentions.

Nobody likes coy emails where you have indirectly asked for a favor.

People appreciate bluntness and believe me they will be more willing to help you, knowing the main reason behind it.

Don’t mislead your recipient with sentences like “I’d like to have a quick call to discuss few things.”

This doesn’t send out the message it should, and it won’t get you any replies or response because they are not sure about what you are asking of them.

Instead, go like “I’d love to jump on a quick call with you if you have time about some of the email insights you mentioned in your yesterday’s session.”

In the above sentence, the recipient will be well aware about the agenda of your call and he will responsive and ready to help as well.

4. The Subject Line

This is a tricky one.

To form the perfect subject line, you will have to use some of the power words, emotional words and some of the actionable ones as well.

Here are some of the best subject lines for a follow-up email that I have come across:

  • Next step?
  • Am I bugging you yet?
  • Just tried to reach you
  • Let’s take another look
  • Did I lose you?
  • Are you ok?
  • Project update

Source: Pipetop

The above-mentioned elements are must for a perfect follow up email.

Now that you have learned to write a perfect email, let’s move on to the part where we learn about the perfect number of follow up emails to be sent.

The Number of Follow Up Emails that get the work done:

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about sending the follow-up emails.

When to quit or give up? When to actually stop sending the emails and read the signs your recipient is sending.

To answer this question, we have analyzed 2,162,106 emails sent via SalesHandy, and we came to the following conclusion:

  • Sending 5 consecutive follow-up emails at regular intervals after the original emails are proven to be the best practice of follow up emails.
  • And the maximum of 9 follow up emails after the original one will get you 53.49% increase in open rate and 44.73% increase in reply rate.

Now that you are equipped with a perfect follow up emails and a lucky number for your follow up emails let’s add more ammunition to this deadly combo with a proven follow up email sequence that will get you the exceptional results.

The unbeatable sequence of your follow up emails:

The sequence you can follow when you want to send more than 6 follow up emails after the first email.

Unbeatable sequence of your follow up emails:

And in case if you want to follow an email sequence for your follow up emails which consist of 5 follow up stages then you can follow the below-mentioned sequence:

Day 1: Tuesday, between 10AM-11AM (First Email)

ay 3: Thursday, between 10AM-11AM (First Follow up email)

Day 4: Friday, between 3PM-4PM (Second Follow up email)

Day 8: Tuesday, between 10AM-11AM (Third Follow up email)

Day 15: Tuesday, between 10AM-11AM (Fourth Follow up email)

Day 31: Tuesday, between 10AM-11AM (Fifth Follow up email)

Now, you are all equipped to go out in the world and take charge of your own emails.

But we have something more in store for you.

Some of the most successful follow-up email templates curated just for our readers from all over the internet.

Some we have tried and some we have not.

Go on and copy the templates you like. They are all yours.

Tried and Tested Follow Up Email Templates

The key to writing a smashing follow up email is to add something of value every time you send them.

Don’t just follow up. Give them a reason to revert to your emails.

If you still have doubts, use these templates to get started. You can also use them to get some inspiration to move ahead with writing your perfect follow up email.

Here are top 5 follow up email templates to inspire:

Template 1: Checking the status!

Subject: Re: real-time traffic and weather updates for your deliverers

Hey (name),

Circling back on this, any word from the partners?

I know you’re super busy so would you mind just giving me a click below so I know where you stand?

  1. [link]What’s the next step? [/link]
  2. [link]We’re not ready yet – remind us later [/link]
  3. [link]We’re not in the market anymore – thank you [/link]

Thanks – this really helps me understand where you stand.

Signoff

In this first template, we are giving the recipient an option to move ahead with us or to drop out of this deal altogether and then a middle option as well.

With this follow up email, you are making it easier for your recipient to reply to your email.

You can use these kinds of follow up emails at the 3rd or last stage of following up.

Template 2: Quick Summary

Subject line: Quick Recap

Hey (name), awesome meeting today. Just a quick recap of what’s happening next:

July 20th: I will send you…
July 25th: Get back to me with any changes your team has.
July 31st: We’ll have the final revisions done.

If you need anything before then just let me know. Otherwise, I’ll see you and the team at the all-hands-on-deck meeting in (time)!

Signoff

Here you are sending a follow-up email after you have had a successful meeting and these kinds of follow up emails are a sign of professionalism.

And it’s always good to add a quick recap to your deal just to make sure that both the parties are on the same page.

This will add to your relationship with them as well.

Template 3: Stopped Communication

Subject: [First Name], did I do something wrong?

Hey (name),

I haven’t heard back from you in a while. I’m wondering – did I do something wrong?

Last time we spoke, we talked about how dynamically serving different versions of your sales page to visitors from different sources can convert sales at much higher rates. I also sent you a few case studies to show the jump in sales other local service businesses has seen.

If I did something wrong like not answer an important question for you, let me know, and I’ll fix it asap.

Signoff

Here we are asking them if there was something wrong done from your side and if there was a way to fix it.

You can use this templates when you haven’t heard back from them after you have exchanged some emails.

Template 4: Give and take

Re: [same subject]

Hi (name),

Have you come across the “Information Security Community?”Check the group out: [link to Linkedin Group]

From our last discussion, this group looks to be filled with your target prospects that could ensure you reach your Q4 sales target. Some of the challenges expressed in the group are problems your team helps solve.

What’s the best way to get on your calendar for 15 tomorrow? I’ll show you the playbook on how to drive revenue from this group.

signoff

This is the example of a perfect follow up email containing all the elements mentioned above in the “how to write a follow up email” section.

In case you didn’t check it, you can jump to that section from here.

Template 5: Subtle Follow Up

Subject: Since you’re such a foodie

Hey (name),

You mentioned you love trying new foods. Saw this group organizing food tours around New York. Here’s one where they take you to a few ethnic restaurants: Original Multicultural Bar Hopping Tour

Sounds like your taste buds will be pleased!

How’s the project coming along?

Signoff

An amazing way to follow up.

Sending them information about something they love.

A subtle way of following up.

Sources:

Now you have the knowledge, information and some inspiration as well.

But how to take this forward?

Worry not.

In the next section we have explained how you can automate this process of following up, which can save you lots of time and energy.

How to automate the follow up process:

Following up is an art, and it’s impossible to maintain a rapport of following up and obey all the rules laid out for the same.

And it will turn into a headache when you have to do it for more than 50 people at the same time.

It’s impossible to do by yourself, but with a little help of tools, you can master it.

 We Recommend You Use SalesHandy:

A tool that will help you optimize, and automate your reach out process and how you communicate with your prospects as well.

You can use SalesHandy Mail Merge Campaign with Auto Follow up feature to get started.

SalesHandy

You can send in thousands of emails with personalization using Mail Merge feature and then you can use those follow up email writing skills to add perfect follow up emails for the follow up stages.

Here’s how the process of setting up mail merge campaign goes:

cold emailing tools

After the first email, time to add the follow up emails.

With SalesHandy you can automate this process based on the recipient’s behavior as well. You can select from the conditions like “not opened” or “not replied” or “been sent.”

The first two conditions are used to follow up, and the third condition is used when you are sending in the daily newsletters or weekly updates.

Moreover, you can add up to 9 follow up stages after the first email using SalesHandy.

Here’s a sneak peek at SalesHandy’s automated follow-up feature:

the art of following up

Other features that come with automated follow up:

  • Link Tracking
  • Send as Reply
  • Scheduling
  • Drip Method
  • CRM Integration
  • Stage wise analytics
  • Activity dashboard

And there are many more.

You can integrate SalesHandy easily into your daily life with their chrome plugin and it will only set you back about 9$-20$ money-wise.

Till the next time:

Following up is something everyone does at some point or another.

And it’s something that keeps changing and adding more dimensions to it. And if we encounter something out of the box we will definitely update this blog.

By the time, you let us know if we have missed something out.

An amazing follow up template or some information that will be a great add this to blog.

Comment below or click below to tweet to us with the same.

Looking forward to some adds to this blog.

Till the next time!

Dhruv Patel

A marketer, people person, SaaS enthusiast, hustler & growth hacker. Always smiling & ready for help. Co-founder at @SalesHandy